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Book bingo book reviews - athene
Book bingo book reviews

Not even the end of January and I've already finished two books, and am reading another two (one is a bloody huge weighty academic tome, so I'm multi-tasking and reading a quick-read fiction at the same time).

But since I'm claiming two bingo squares for my first two books of the year, I felt I ought to do a quick review.

The Cuckoo's Calling, by Robert Galbraith. Fills the 'TV tie-in/made into a TV series' square.

I'll be honest, crime fiction isn't usually my thing. I don't normally go out of my way to read crime fiction, unless it's a cross-genre thing, like for instance a M/M romance with crime/mystery, or perhaps a sci-fi crime setting. But I watched the TV series of this book last year and enjoyed it far more than I expected to, so when I saw the book going cheap in a charity shop I decided to give it a go (also, the fact that I realised I could use it to fill a bingo square *might* have played a part in my decision... Competitive? Moi?)

Like the TV series, I enjoyed this book far more than I expected to. It's a very easy read, and it's also got that 'just one more chapter' thing, where you take it to bed intending to read for maybe half an hour before sleep, and the next thing you know it's nearly midnight because you couldn't put it down. In fact, the night I finished it I ended up staying awake until literally nearly midnight on a work night because once I got past a certain point there was no way I was putting it down before the end. It's fast moving and relatively easy to read, although there is a *lot* of plot and characters and detail to keep up with.

The main characters are interesting and likeable. The fact that the main character is an amputee isn't just a gimmick, it's got plot relevance and does affect things within the story, but at the same time I thought there wasn't an undue emphasis or fetshisation of it. Strike is not a 'disabled hero', he's a hero who also happens to be disabled, which is definitely something to be applauded. If you're familiar with the TV show, Strike as described in the book is rather less physically attractive than the actor they cast to play him (Tom Burke), so I found myself mentally overlaying the actors when I pictured the characters, although to be honest that tends to happen whenever you read a book of something that you've seen a film or TV version of anyway.

If you watched the TV programme and liked it, I would definitely recommend the book. To my knowledge there are at least three books in this series so far, and I'm sure I read somewhere that the author has plans for up to eight. I discovered book three in a charity shop at the weekend and bought it, and then managed to get book two in the library, and I'm already over halfway through book two. So I suppose that by itself is a recommendation of how much I liked it.

A Little Gay History, by R. B. Parkinson. Fills the 'diverse reads' bingo square

This non-fcition book is published by The British Museum, and I picked it up last year when the museum had a LGBQT 'trail', highlighting exhibits that had links or associations with LGBQT lives or culture or history. It's a relatively small book, it only took me two evenings to read it from cover to cover, but it was an interesting read. Basically, it features artefacts from the British Museum that have links, however tenuous, with the theme. Obvious ones are the Warren Cup, and the busts of Hadrian and Antinous. Less obvious ones are gender-ambiguous religious/cult statues. There are quite a few where it's not necessarily the object itself, but an object that leads into discussion of a historical figure with an LGBQT association. Sometimes, as in the case of a 11,000 year old carving of two figures embracing and, possibly, having sex, it asks the question, why, when the gender of the figures is ambiguous, should we automatically *assume* that they are heterosexual?

I did feel a few of the objects were rather stretching the argument in places, and due to the focus on artefacts at the British Museum it was necessarily limited in what could be featured. But if you have an interest in the subject, it's certainly an interesting and easy-to-read introduction, and could be used as a jumping off point for more in-depth study and investigation.

lj book bingo card 2018


8 comments or Leave a comment
fififolle From: fififolle Date: January 22nd, 2018 10:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Cool! I love that you liked The Galbraith book so much! I'd totally forgotten it was Strike. I really liked the show.
Great start to the reading year!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: January 22nd, 2018 10:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
I really wasn't expecting to enjoy it that much, but I saw it for a couple of quid in a charity shop and decided to give it a go. So glad I did.
honor_reid From: honor_reid Date: January 23rd, 2018 06:05 am (UTC) (Link)
I have never heard of the tv series but the book sounds good. It's awesome that you've already finished two books.

I am doing the same as far as reading two books at a time. One is a very heavy book as far as subject matter, it is a bit emotionally draining. So I am also reading a fairly easy lighthearted book to take a bit of a break.

Edited at 2018-01-23 06:06 am (UTC)
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: January 26th, 2018 04:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
It was on TV last year, they've done TV adaptations of the first two books, and I'm pretty sure they went down well enough that they're going to do an adaptation of the third book as well, but I've no idea when it'll be airing.

Yes, I have to admit the heavy-going academic book has been somewhat neglected since I started reading the Strike books. I've already finished book 2 in the series, and am partway through book 3 now!
cordeliadelayne From: cordeliadelayne Date: January 23rd, 2018 09:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's excellent, well done! I love the Strike novels and thought the adaptation was done really well.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: January 26th, 2018 04:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, I've now finished the second Strike book, and am already partway through the third! Are there any more out yet, or are we still just stuck at three?

I have to admit my memories of the TV versions are a bit hazy, but certainly for the second book I thought there was a lot in the book that had been left out of the TV version. Although I might need to read the second one again sometime, as I have to admit there was so much detail going on that by the end of the book I was still somewhat hazy about exactly why or how the killer had done it :-(

It's certainly been a productive start to my reading year, though :-)
cordeliadelayne From: cordeliadelayne Date: January 27th, 2018 03:00 am (UTC) (Link)
There's just three at the minute but I think I remember JKR mentioning she's working on the fourth now so hopefully it won't be too long till we get the next one.

Fingers crossed the productivity continues! :D
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: January 29th, 2018 06:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Bugger! She needs to write faster! :-)

I just finished Career of Evil yesterday, so if there aren't any more out yet, at least it means I can get on with reading something else for a bit, as the Strike novels seem to have distracted me from everything else for the last few weeks.
8 comments or Leave a comment